These Christmas side dishes are perfect pairings for any holiday meal! Browse everything from braised vegetables to crisp salads.
Looking for sides for a holiday meal? There’s nothing better than sharing a delicious meal with friends and family around the table. Here are all our top Christmas side dishes to pair with holiday dinner. Try tender braised vegetables simmered in savory broth, or bright salads with crisp greens, tart apples and pops of pomegranate arils. No matter the main dish, there’s something to pair with your meal.
“Best mashed potatoes recipe” is a bold claim, but we stand behind it. These really are the best mashed potatoes! They’re swirled with fresh garlic sauteed in butter, milk, and a little sour cream, then mashed into fluffy oblivion. For the creamiest texture you can whip them with a stand mixer. Take them over the top with our secret ingredient to make everyone around the table go mad over them.
Here’s a beautiful Christmas side dish: this stunningApple Salad recipe! If we could eat one salad for the rest of time, this one is it. Crisp tart apple slices pair with pops of pomegranate seeds, creamy goat cheese, and crunchy, cinnamon spiced pecans. Toss them all over fresh greens with a zingy maple and apple cider vinegar dressing, and it’s truly salad perfection.
Have you tried Smashed Brussels Sprouts? If you’re a Brussels lover, this recipe is a must-try. Boil them, smash them, then roast them with Parmesan cheese until they’re crispy at the edges. It’s like roasted Brussels sprouts taken up two notches, because the interior is creamy and smooth.
Here’s a hearty fall and winter side dish that’s just begging to jump onto your table: wild rice salad! This mix of rice with crunchy veggies, pecans, cranberries, and feta cheese crumbles is ideal for any occasion, from the holidays to a simple cozy dinner. A maple Dijon vinaigrette dressing infuses a tangy flavor throughout, punctuated by bursts of fresh parsley.
The perfect Christmas side dish? Try this roasted acorn squash with brown butter maple drizzle! Bake acorn squash in a hot oven until it’s moist and tender, then while it’s roasting make brown butter on the stovetop. Swirl in a little maple syrup and garnish with chopped pecans, and it’s absolutely irresistible!
Here’s a simple way to dress up fresh green beans as a gourmet side: Green Beans Almondine! Make it at home, and this dish is brilliant! The beans are bright green and perfectly tender, sautéed in butter with garlic and toasted almonds and finished with a little lemon zest.
Last up in these Christmas side dishes, Roasted Sweet Potatoes! This is one of the best ways to cook a sweet potato and it makes the pairing for just about any main dish. Dice them up, season with care, and roast until they’re browned and caramelized on the outsides.
Here’s a dreamy Christmas salad: this brilliant Pear Salad! It’s a study in contrasts: fresh, juicy pear against funky gorgonzola cheese; bright pomegranate against savory shallot. Throw in some toasted pecans and cover it in tangy poppy seed dressing, and well: it’s absolutely irresistible.
Here’s a rich and delicious Christmas side dish that will have everyone talking about it: this perfect Brussels Sprout Casserole! Because what’s better than making Brussels that taste like mac and cheese? Bake up those tender sprouts with a rich and creamy white cheddar cheese sauce, then top it with crunchy breadcrumbs toasted until they’re golden brown.
Here’s a Christmas side dish that impresses every time: Hasselback Potatoes! This popular way to prepare the ubiquitous spud tastes just as good as it looks. Slice a whole potato into thin strips, then bake until the slices separate and form crispy, roasted slices. It’s a whole new way to love a potato! It takes a little effort to prepare, but it’s absolutely worth it for a stunning side dish.
Here's a vibrant Christmas side dish: Sweet Potato Salad! You won’t be able to stop shoveling in bites of this healthy side dish (we couldn’t, at least). The contrast of garlic roasted sweet potato cubes, feathery baby arugula, cranberries and creamy goat cheese hit it out of the park. Top it with tangy honey mustard dressing and well, you’ll want to park yourself in front of the bowl.
Looking for a cozy, easy Christmas side dish where you barely have to think? Try this Baked Tortellini recipe! This one is so simple, you don’t even have to boil the pasta. That’s right: throw the refrigerated tortellini into a dish with a tomato pasta sauce and top with melty cheese. It comes out bubbly and warm, with perfectly tender pasta pillows.
This recipe is is everything a classy spinach salad should be, full of texture and flavor contrasts. There’s crunchy smoky pecans, almost bacon-like glazed with maple syrup and soy sauce. Add hard boiled eggs or a crisp-tart apple, and you’ve got a stunning side salad that will make everyone ooo and ahhh. We grew up with a Christmas side dish like this one!
One of the easiest and tastiest ways to cook this ubiquitous orange squash is simply roasting it in a hot oven. It comes out tender and caramelized, its sweet flavor perfectly developed. It makes a lovely Christmas side dish that's mostly hands off.
This gourmet green bean casserole is a modern take on the classic! Starring fresh green beans, real mushrooms, and Parmesan, the flavor is savory and delicious. For a fun twist, it's topped with a crunchy variation on the theme: sour cream and onion potato chips!
Here's a stunning Christmas side dish that highlights the colors of the season: Pomegranate Salad! Crunchy pomegranate seeds make a beautiful confetti over the top of leafy greens. Add tart green apple slices, toasted pecans, and goat cheese or feta crumbles, and it’s a true symphony of flavor.
What's better than a crispy-on-the-outside, tender-on-the-inside potato. These oven roasted red potatoes are baked until crispy with garlic powder, then showered with fresh herbs. Perfect as a Christmas side dish!
These braised vegetables taste like they’ve been roasting under a chicken all day long! While they’re plant based and healthy, they’re bursting with flavor that takes cozy to the next level. These braised veggies are the perfect side dish for Christmas, with the jewel toned purple onion and orange carrot.
Here’s a standout fall or winter salad starring everyone’s favorite ingredient: Butternut Squash Salad! This one is a symphony in a bowl: hearty sweet squash pairs with crisp apple, chewy cranberries and a citrusy orange vinaigrette. All the best flavors of fall and winter ingredients sing together in perfect harmony!
Delicata squash is an easy Christmas side dish that roasts up into beautiful half-moons, with edible skin (no peeling!) and a sweet flavor that’s something like a sweet potato. Even better, it’s quick to cook: just 20 minutes in a hot oven!
Need a great Christmas side dish Try this Endive Salad: equal parts refreshing, tangy, bitter, crunchy, and tangy! Bitter endive pairs perfectly with juicy orange and a sweet tart red wine vinaigrette. Top it off with savory Parmesan shavings and crunchy almonds, and the contrasts are divine.
These mashed sweet potatoes are creamy and delicious: the ideal side wish for any Christmas main! Adding some Yukon gold potatoes to the mix makes for a texture that sets up like mashed potatoes and an even more buttery flavor.
Here’s a favorite easy Christmas side dish: roasted broccolini! Broccoli’s cooler and more sophisticated cousin is absolutely worth trying. Somehow it’s even more delicious than roasted broccoli (if that’s possible!), with a sweet flavor and tender crunch. Even better: its long, elegant stems makes it look fancier and it takes less time to cook.
If you’re in the market for a simple side dish for Christmas, here’s one for your back pocket: kale slaw with apples! This colorful mix of fresh veggies is simple to put together and tastes refreshingly sweet tart. It stars hearty kale, crisp apples, sweet carrot, and a zingy maple apple cider vinegar dressing.
Baked fennel makes easy and elegant side dish! Raw fennel has a crunch and black licorice flavor, making it perfect for salads. But its roasted self is something different altogether. Its flavor becomes sweet and caramelized: almost like roasted onions but even more irresistible!
Looking for a whole grain Christmas side dish? This farro with mushrooms is bursting with flavor from the savory mushrooms, garlic, and fresh thyme and oregano. Add a spritz of fresh lemon juice and some grated Parmesan cheese and well, its pretty heavenly.
Want to add sophistication to your Christmas meal? Try a crunchy and refreshing frisee salad! Frisée is a leafy green with a frilly texture and subtly bitter flavor, ideal for adding flair and elegance to salads. This one pairs it with the burst of juicy orange, aged Manchego cheese, and crunchy almonds, covering it all in a zingy white wine vinaigrette.
Here’s a stunning side dish that makes any fall or winter meal cozier: Roasted Root Vegetables! The brilliant mix of orange and purple hues is alone is enough to warm your insides. Roast the vegetables with a little rosemary and garlic, and they come out tender and caramelized: and make your kitchen smell incredible!
These creamy, dreamy mashed potatoes are scented with the sweet aromatic flavor of roasted garlic. It’s milder and more luxurious than the typical pungent bite of the raw stuff. Mix it together with creamy Yukon gold potatoes and a bit of Parmesan cheese, and it’s truly something magical.
Here’s a green salad idea that’s flavorful and versatile: arugula beet salad! It features jewel-toned roasted beets with baby arugula, all covered in a zingy citrus vinaigrette. Add thin-sliced shallots and toasted walnuts, and it tastes sophisticated with minimal effort. You can use Oven Roasted Beets or purchased pre-cooked beets.
Here’s a lovely side dish that’s simple and flavor-filled: Garlic Butter Steamed Potatoes! This recipe is ideal with new potatoes or baby potatoes, those lovely small potatoes with a rich, buttery texture. Even better, use a potato medley for a variation in color of golden, bright red and bold purple. Throw them together with butter, garlic and parsley, and you’ve got a quick side dish that everyone will go crazy for.
Here’s a fantastic Christmas side dish that’s about as quintessentially cozy as they come: Mashed Butternut Squash! The flavor is bold and sweet, with a nutty undertone. Sage, butter, and Parmesan cheese make the baked butternut squash sing! Mash it with a potato masher or even better: whip it for a light and fluffy Butternut Squash Puree.
A hot oven makes magic with just about every vegetable; here it turns green beans into a tender, caramelized version of themselves. Add a spritz of lemon juice and a sprinkle of toasted almonds, and it’s an easy yet gourmet side dish.
There’s no root vegetable we love more than the sweet potato. It’s easy, deliciously tender, and easy to load toppings as a tasty side. This baked sweet potato recipe makes spuds that are perfectly tender with delicious moist orange flesh, ideal as a side dish for Christmas alongside roast chicken or fish.
Brussels sprout salad is perfect for the holidays! The raw greens aren’t bitter at all: they’re sweet and feathery, with irresistibly fresh flavor. Combine them with a sweet and tangy Djion mustard dressing, apples, and dried cherries, and they’re pretty darn perfect.
Try these easy roasted carrots! They come out tender, lightly charred, and sweetly earthy. Roasting them with lemon wedges gives a brightness of flavor, and fresh thyme sprigs add a hint of complexity.
These Brussels sprouts are so crispy, you’ll think they were fried. But they’re baked! They’re baked until impossibly crunchy, then tossed with a balsamic and honey sauce that brings in the tangy and sweet notes.
Why not turn this bright orange root vegetable into a baked good? Try these Sweet Potato Muffins! Adding mashed sweet potato to baked goods makes them deliciously moist. These tall, fluffy muffins are perfectly cinnamon spiced and the ideal Thanksgiving side dish.
Here's a festive Christmas side dish: Fennel Orange Salad! It features the famous pairing of juicy oranges and sliced raw fennel, which adds a subtle licorice essence. Throw it over greens with a few garnishes, top with a zingy homemade citrus vinaigrette, and wow! There’s so much going on flavor and texture-wise, it’s one of the most unexpectedly delicious salads.
More Christmas recipes
Got your Christmas side dishes picked out? We’ve got lots more recipes to pair, from mains to desserts to drinks. Here are a few more recipe ideas to browse for your holiday inspiration:
Variation: 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish (in a jar)*
Wash and roughly chop the potatoes into even 1-inch chunks (peel or leave them unpeeled if you don’t mind the texture of skins). Try to make the chunks as even as possible.
Place the potatoes in a large pot and cover with 1 inch of cold water. Stir in 1 tablespoon kosher salt. Bring to a boil.
Once boiling, cook until they are very tender, about 10 to 15 minutes (pierce a piece of potato with a fork to assess doneness). Drain and allow to steam while sautéing the garlic in Step 4.
When the potatoes are done, melt the butter in the same pot. Add the minced garlic and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes, until fragrant but not browned. Remove the heat and pour in the milk, stir for 15 seconds to warm the milk. Then add the potatoes back to the pot.
Mash the potatoes with a masher. Add the sour cream and 1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt and mash more until a creamy texture forms. (If using prepared horseradish, mash it in as well.)
Optional: For the creamiest mashed potatoes, transfer to a stand mixer. Add the whisk attachment and whip on low speed for 1 to 2 minutes, until fluffy (take care not to over whip or the potatoes will become too thick and gluey).
*Adding prepared horseradish is a secret ingredient that makes mashed potatoes taste incredible; using the quantity specified is enough to make them taste complex but not spicy. Feel free to add more if desired or omit.